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With less than a month to go, Biden may miss his vaccination goals

The president wanted 70 percent of adults to have had at least one shot and 160 million to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the Fourth of July.
Image: Mississippi Delta Region Struggles To Vaccinate Residents
Patricia Cole gets a shot of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from a medical worker at a pop-up clinic in Hollandale, Miss. Adult vaccinations have tapered off in June, imperiling President Joe Biden's goals.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

A spring swoon in vaccinations has put President Joe Biden's goal of getting at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose into the arms of 70 percent of adults by the Fourth of July on shaky ground.

As of Monday, close to 64 percent of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, just shy of the pace needed to meet the goal. At the current pace, about 67 percent of the adult population will have received shots by the Fourth of July holiday.

The country appeared on pace to clear the goal for most of May, but the pace of vaccinations slowed as June arrived. At the current seven-day rate of first doses, it will take until nearly the end of July to hit Biden's 70 percent goal, according to an NBC News analysis.

The pace is also short of what Biden needs to hit his other goal of fully vaccinating 160 million adults.

The dip in adult first doses mirrors a drop in overall doses across the entire population in the spring. Vaccinations climbed steadily in the early part of the year, peaking at an average of 3.4 million doses per day. But they've tumbled since then as states have had to contend with vaccine hesitancy among their populations.

The Biden administration projected confidence at a briefing Monday, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki attributed some of the slowdown to the Memorial Day weekend. Psaki pointed to the administration's national "month of action" — in which the federal and state governments and businesses will encourage vaccinations with incentives like free beer, child care and baseball tickets — as a sign that the administration will continue to push as hard as possible.

"I'll also note that regardless of where we are on July 4 we're not shutting down shop on July 5," Psaki said. "We're going to continue to press to vaccinate more people across the country."